I haven’t forgotten how it all came to be – it happened so quickly, and so recently, that it’s still very fresh in my mind – but I do marvel.
I marvel that five years ago right around now, I was single, with a very lightweight secret crush on a guy I barely knew; loving the spring weather, and thinking about spending some time in another city, just for a change of scene.
You can guess, I am sure, what the next phase looked like: my lightweight crush became my great love, and spending time in another city became moving my entire life to begin anew with that same love – who, in turn, became the father of my children and then my husband.
We’re just about to move into a new house, another brand new start for the two of us, who have been lucky enough to have many of those already in our relatively brief time together.
Before I met him, I would never have considered myself a romantic.
This is one of the first dishes I ever cooked for him, and it remains a favourite.
Once in a Lifetime Chicken and Coleslaw
This recipe is easily doubled, or tripled, for a crowd, and it’s even better the next day.
4 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp rice vinegar
6 tbsp lime juice
6 tbsp fish sauce
4 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp sesame oil
4 tbsp soy sauce
4 cloves garlic, crushed
700 g boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1/4c finely chopped fresh mint
1 package (454g or 1 lb.) coleslaw
In a shallow bowl large enough to hold chicken pieces, whisk together sugar, vinegar, lime juice, fish sauce, olive oil and sesame oil until well combined. Remove 3/4 cup of liquid from the bowl; reserve.
To make marinade, add soy sauce and garlic to the mixture in the bowl and stir well. Add chicken pieces; toss to coat, cover, and marinade as long as you can (minimum 20 minutes, maximum 4-5 hours).
Stir mint into reserved 3/4 cup of liquid to use as dressing for the coleslaw.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Use tongs to transfer chicken pieces to a well-oiled shallow baking dish large enough to hold chicken in one layer. Bake, basting occasionally with marinade, until thighs are cooked through, 20-30 minutes. Let rest about 10 minutes before serving.
While chicken is resting, toss coleslaw with dressing.
Serves 2, generously.